with Horse and Hound

Foxhunting, Austrian Style

The traditional “Night of the Foxes” took place in Upper Styria, Austria over the last weekend in January, 2012. The tradition endures there as a way of controlling the fox population, balancing the natural environment, and protecting small game.

Although details were sparse in the Austrian Times article, the hunting method seems to involve the staking out of an area by participating individuals overnight while the foxes are out and active. The hunter must keep absolutely still and quiet so as not to alert his quarry, and he shoots it if it comes within range. Success is said to require skill and experience.

The morning after, the hunters’ trophies are proudly laid out for the townspeople to see and admire. The ceremony includes horn blowers in traditional Austrian attire celebrating the hunters’ achievements on their horns. Successful hunters are awarded fir branches, which they stick in their hat bands. Nineteen foxes were taken with one hunter accounting for three.

Sounds more like our turkey hunting than foxhunting!

Posted February 4, 2013